Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Family Wedding DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Cliché-Ridden Cross-Cultural Comedy Comes to DVD

Is the idea of a Chicano marrying an African-American really all that shocking? Maybe it is in Los Angeles where gang warfare has brothers and cholos gunning down each other in bloody drive-bys. Elsewhere, I suspect it’s not that big a deal, but don’t tell that to the Ramirezes and the Boyds, the clans that come to butt heads in Our Family Wedding.
L.A. natives Lucia Ramirez (America Ferrara) and Marcus Boyd (Lance Gross) fell in love on the East Coast where he was studying to become a doctor while she volunteered at a charter school. But now they’re returning to Los Angeles to inform their parents of their plans to marry in two weeks.
Trouble is their fathers (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) already know and hate each other and the impending nuptials only gives the prejudiced patriarchs an excuse to up the antipathy. So, each does his best to control the couple’s wedding plans to reflect their respective cultural traditions: Catholic vs. Baptist, jumping the broom vs. a veil and lasso, etcetera.
Since I’d seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I think I know what director Rick Famuyiwa was shooting for, namely, a heartwarming, cross-cultural comedy loaded with laughs. Unfortunately, this mean-spirited, cliché-ridden shockfest fails to measure up in any meaningful way.
The flick’s lame attempt at ethnic humor is mostly of the “Once you go black, you don’t go back.” and “Is it true what they say about black guys?” stale stereotyping variety. The unoriginal scriptwriters show precious little in the way of creativity, given their milking both inadvertent ingestion of Viagra and cake in the face for laughs twice.
Even the pat resolution, overlaid with unearned sentiment, is annoying, especially the gratuitous, wedding reception dance scene. That device is conveniently employed to suggest that all the scatterplot’s loose ends have been tied, as the former adversaries shimmy up a Soul Train line together.
I just saved you a lot of aggravation. You owe me.

Poor (½ star)
Rated PG-13 for brief profanity and sexuality.
In English and Spanish with subtitles.
Running time: 90 Minutes
Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: 6 deleted scenes, 2 extended scenes, a gag reel and “Til Dads Do Us Part” featurette.

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